Cream Chilled Electronic

OMT (One More Tune) Records has released a massive, three disc chillout set called “Cream Chilled Electronic.”  Thanks to Kate at UK music PR firm, Kish Communications, I was able to get a preview of the new compilation.

The compilation features not only almost four hours of chilled out tracks, but also some of the top names in the genre such as Air, Dido, Groove Armada, Moby, Royksopp, and Zero 7.  It was a bit heavily laced with the usual tracks by those artists which are normally featured on many chillout compilations, but I think overall it has a good balance of some well-known artists but yet has some that haven’t made it big yet as well.

One of the things I first noticed on this collection of songs was the number of artists that were popular in the 80’s.  There are songs by New Order, Simply Red, and Tears for Fears here.  Even Chaka Khan makes an appearance!  Definitely seems fitting since everyone is producing the 80’s synth pop sound these days, so why not include a few of the original artists?

My favorite track by one of the more well known artists was “Silver Cruiser” by Royksopp off of their recent release “Junior”, which has a bunch of off beat drum hits and wall of sound synth moments that took my breath away.  Fortunately I was able to gain it back with the minimalistic ending.  I hadn’t listened to all of “Junior” back when it came out and totally overlooked this track.  Will definitely give this one more spins now!

For the newcomers (at least for me) on this album, I really enjoyed the soulful, bluesy Misti Blu by Nottingham, UK trio Amillionsons.  Evening Star (Pink Frost Remix) by Todd Sparrow was a trance-like track with a great groove.  It seemed like a combination of Daft Punk’s sound with Neil Tennant’s (Pet Shop Boys) vocal style.  I also enjoyed another trance-y number called “November” by Norwegian Danny Andersen’s “Blackbelt Andersen” project.

There is also a bit of classical music influence on this compilation with a very well done  synth version of Barber’s “Adagio for Strings” by William Orbit.  “Angelica” by Lamb also has an electronic take on one of my favorite classical pieces, Debussy’s “Claire du Lune.”  The main melody of the piece is there along with some synth runs and other samples that brings a new twist to an old favorite, but still maintains the delicate nature of the original.

As I wrote earlier, there are a lot of tracks on “Cream Chilled Electronic” that appear on many other chillout compilations, however that is overcome with the quality of new tracks as well as the quantity (sitxy tracks!) and the diverse nature of chillin’ music  you get with this set.  I’d recommend picking it up as soon as possible!

Keep chillin’

-Chris

Mr Scruff

During my chillout sessions or sometimes during a workout I’ll check out Pandora radio to help aid my search for the chillin’ tracks. On my David Holmes (a Chillout Scene favorite) station, I encountered some great tracks by Mr Scruff.

Mr Scruff (real name Andy Carthy) uses a lot of piano, jazz, and soulful vocal samples in his tracks. He ends up creating a great retro sound very similar to David Holmes’ which is again why I was drawn to his music.


I sampled a few tracks from his MySpace page most of which were taken from his latest album “Ninja Tuna” (an awesome name, by the way).


“Music Takes Me Up” features a groovin’ melody provided by piano/keys and great vocal work by Alice Russell.

“Kalimba” sounds like it would fit right in on the Ocean’s 12 soundtrack. This upbeat track really gets you moving with a fantastic disco-like string melody and a rich bass line. The congas and percussion are what made me think immediately of David Holmes work on the O12 soundtrack. The frenetic pace of the track also brings the listener to a world of high class criminals out on another job and on the run. Maybe not the best track to relax to, but it’s quite enjoyable and would be a great one for getting ready to go out on the town.

“Donkey Ride” which features Quantic has a wonderful piano part at the beginning which then moves to a groovy piano/key alternating melody. This track also features a bossa-like feel and gets pretty crazy at the end with a lot of vocals, piano, and everything else coming together but then slowly fades out to end the song. I think this one is a very eclectic track, but after a few listens the groove really took over and I appreciated it that much more.

“Champion Nibble” is another high energy track that features some funky guitar and and a smokin’ sax melody. I also loved the organ/synth part towards the end!

“Get a Move On” was featured on Ultra Chilled 05. I immediately loved the vocal samples and 40’s sounding “big band” wind instrumental melody. It’s a nice, medium paced track with a steady beat and again really captures the retro sound that Mr Scruff excels with invoking in his music.

Mr Scruff even has his own brand of teas you can drink while chillin’ out. Check out his tea company at www.makeusabrew.com.

I really enjoy Mr Scruff’s work and will be picking up “Ninja Tuna” very soon to enjoy over and over. You should too if you enjoy the rich, retro-sounding tracks as much as I did!

Keep chillin’

-Chris

chris@chilloutscene.com

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